Fairfield County has its fair share of restaurants, and of these existing eateries, quite a few serve ethnic cuisines. What breaks the list down even further, however, is the miniscule selection of Peruvian restaurants in the sea of ethnic fare. Chavin Peruvian Bistro is one such restaurant that leaves an indelible mark on the Stamford landscape.
Located on Atlantic Street just down from the Stamford Center for the Arts, Chavin (the second of two locations, the first being in Port Chester, NY) is a welcome addition to the downtown business district. Serving the finest in authentic Peruvian cuisine, Chavin is open for lunch and dinner. However, despite what their websites states, the Stamford location is not open seven days a week; they are closed on Tuesdays.
While the two locations do have similarities, don’t look for the Stamford locale to have the exact menu offerings as its sister restaurant in Port Chester. What you can be sure of, however, is an authentically prepared Peruvian meal that will be difficult to find anywhere else in Fairfield County.
The atmosphere is a mix of color and sound. The festive appointments and brightly colored walls give Chavin a cheery feel and transports you—if only for a moment—far, far away from the streets of Stamford as you enjoy your meal. The music from the overhead speakers can be a bit loud at times, but it too has its own flavor of cheerful appeal.
One of the standout menu items is the appetizer Conchitas a la Parmesana, six tiny scallops centered on individual shells enveloped by a thick blanket of parmesan cheese and baked to perfection. With a slightly salty taste—but not so briny that it’s a lingering distraction in the mouth—the cheese possesses a texture that is strangely similar to meat in its chewiness. Although small, the scallops were far from rubbery and had a delightful flavor when eaten alone or with the parmesan.
Also of note is the Asian influenced Saltada de Pollo, a magnificently flavorful dish of stir-fry chicken sautéed with olive oil soy sauce, tomatoes and onions. To add to the classic Peruvian flavor, the stir-fry is served with French fries with rice on the side.
From start to finish, the meal at Chavin was a delightful treat for at least three of my five senses (sight, smell and taste), and one which I would gladly repeat in the future. With great food, attentive staff, a delightful atmosphere and a full bar serving an assortment of wine, beer and spirits, Chavin is the perfect place to dine for lunch or dinner.
Chavin Peruvian Bistro
21 Atlantic Street
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